I have been back at work for about 6 weeks. So how has it been, now I am a Working Mum?
It’s been tough, I won’t lie. My only relief has been that I’ve only been working 2 days a week. I’m going up to 4 days after Christmas, and I am wondering how I’ll cope.
The actual worky bit, isn’t so bad. The job is the same, the people are the same and it is reassuring to return somewhere where people know you. My old mug has resurfaced, a ten month hiatus from my excessive tea drinking. I have moved desks and offices but I am in a lovely office with some lovely people. Things have changed slightly, but I can manage that.
There are times at work when I totally forget I’ve even had a baby. I suddenly remember, realising what my life is like now. It is like a little bubble, work. I sometimes think I’m still pregnant, my last memories of work being pregnant. I find it easy to switch off at work and I am used to doing this, nurses have to be good at keeping work and family life separate.
I feel empty, though. Every so often I think of Bubs and I feel bad imam at work, or that I haven’t thought of her more during the day. Getting to work is stressful. I have to wait for people to arrive to look after Bubs before I can go to work. They are not always on time, no fault of their own, but it means I’m late to work and it just makes me unsettled. When my partner is at home, I should leave it all to him, bp and just get ready and go, but it never ends up that way. Sometimes it’s me, not wanting to leave, or being a control freak and doing something my way. Other times it’s because he expects me to sort it out, even though when he goes to work he doesn’t do the same.
I have found since returning to work my concentration has lessened; also my tolerance for looking at the computer screen for too long – I have been getting bad headaches from it. Readjusting to work life is odd. It feels so familiar yet at the same time so alien. I definitely have changed my priorities. I used to spend a lot of time at work, after hours, but now as soon as the clock strikes 5 I’m off – I have someone who I want to see.
Getting home after work, and seeing my girls big smile, is so lovely. She remembers me after all. She hasn’t been upset when I leave her, which I am relieved at, as going out of the door to crying would break my heart. It’s tough, when I get home, it’s dinner, bath, bottle and bed time. No time for playing, but we have fun having a bath. My favourite time is sitting in our chair, blanket over us, having the bottle, and we sing a few songs, and have a little chat, and then usually fall asleep. I feel relief when she is asleep, but also feel a bit sad as it’s another day I haven’t really seen her.
I have found that since working, the days off I have with her, I make the most of it. I make sure we go out, we do something, see people. It has motivated me to make the most of my time. I make sure we get out of the house, and also get to play with her and not rely on the TV so much. Things have evened out a little, I feel.
When I go up to 4 days a week, with Wednesdays off, it’s going to be yet another change. I can cope with two days, I think four days will be different. I’ll have to get more involved at work and likely stress will creep in as well. I am glad I decided to do two days initially, as it has helped me acclimatise to work, but with the safety net of 5 days at home with Bubs. I’ll let you know how it goes in January.
In an ideal world, I’d love to just spend my time with her, but I can’t. I feel like I’m doing the best I can for her, and I am so excited for Christmas and her birthday. Work does make my heart feel heavy. I think I may need a change of scene, or a new challenge. In the new year I am going to start looking for a new opportunity.
How did you cope going back to work? Do you have any advice or useful tips? Let me know in the comments below!